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Bidder Collusion

Author

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  • Leslie M. Marx
  • Robert C. Marshall

Abstract

Within the heterogeneous independent private values model, we analyze bidder collusion at first and second price single-object auctions, allowing for within-cartel transfers. Our primary focus is on (i) coalitions that contain a strict subset of all bidders and (ii) collusive mechanisms that do not rely on information from the auctioneer, such as the identity of the winner or the amount paid. To analyze collusion, a richer environment is required than that required to analyze non-cooperative behavior. We must account for the possibility of shill bidders as well as mechanism payment rules that may depend on the reports of cartel members or their bids at the auction. We show there are cases in which a coalition at a first price auction can produce no gain for the coalition members beyond what is attainable from non-cooperative play. In contrast, a coalition at a second price auction captures the entire collusive gain. For collusion to be effective at a first price auction we show that the coalition must submit two bids that are different but close to one another, a finding that has important empirical implications

Suggested Citation

  • Leslie M. Marx & Robert C. Marshall, 2004. "Bidder Collusion," Econometric Society 2004 North American Winter Meetings 108, Econometric Society.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecm:nawm04:108
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    File URL: http://repec.org/esNAWM04/up.17591.1047999561.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Kivetz, Gil & Tauman, Yair, 2010. "Simple collusive agreements in one-shot first-price auctions," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 69(1), pages 138-149, May.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    auctions; collusion; bidding rings; shill;

    JEL classification:

    • D44 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Auctions

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